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Texas university offers in-state tuition to Air Force captain’s same-sex partner

Marriage equality

Texas state sealA small news story out of Texas today: the University of Texas at San Antonio will allow an Air Force captain’s wife access to in-state tuition rates even though the state bans marriage equality.  The Dallas Voice reports:

Officials wouldn’t discuss the reasoning behind their original decision last week, only saying they were looking into it. While the state doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage, the federal government does, and Lambda Legal said public universities that receive federal funding were required to offer military members and their families in-state tuition.

UTSA spokesman Joe Izbrand emailed Dallas Voice late last week to explain the spouse would be given in-state tuition.

“After carefully reviewing this matter, it has been determined that the student will be charged resident tuition,” he wrote in an email. “Our university is enriched through inclusiveness and diversity. We honor the service of our military personnel and recognize the sacrifices made by their families.

“Because of the complexities involved and the potential conflict between the federal statute and state law, the university will seek additional legal guidance on this issue.”

Despite the positive news, the university hasn’t announced any universal new policy on the issue of same-sex partners, and its decision to allow in-state tuition for the captain’s wife seems to be a one-off so far.

Next month, the Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases in which same-sex couples married in other states seek to have their marriages recognized by Texas solely for the purpose of accessing divorce proceedings.  Legal observers believe the case could establish a possible precedent that might lead to marriage equality in the state at some point in the future.

4 Comments

  • 1. Sagesse  |  October 8, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Isn't this decision relevant to/in conflict with the Texas National Guard decision not to recognize same sex couples because of the state marriage ban? The National Guard also receives substantial federal funding.

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  • 3. StraightDave  |  January 29, 2014 at 11:09 am

    But didn't the TX Guard quickly get "corrected" by DoD?

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